SSC Seminar Series: Jeffrey Monaghan

Jeffrey Monaghan, PhD candidate
Dept of Sociology, Queen's University

Terror Carceralism: Surveillance and Punishment of Terror Convicts in Canada

Wednesday, January 25
12:30pm to 2:00pm
Location: Mac-Corry D411

The Canadian government has convicted 15 individuals for terrorism offences under criminal provisions introduced in the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act. Consequently, Canadian penal authorities have developed numerous surveillance and security practices to target this new – albeit small – prisoner population. Primarily, these reforms categorize terror convicts as highly dangerous offenders and commit significant resources to address this new form of threat. Yet, none of these prisoners have participated in terrorist attacks or acts of violence. Contributing to scholarship on surveillance and the sociology of (in)security, I discuss how emerging surveillance practices are informed by two converging influences: a host of domestic anti-terrorism policies and a networked field of counter-terrorism experts. Detailing recent debates and reforms, I focus on emergent “deradicalization strategies” that serve as tools for intelligence collection. Facilitated through multi-national frameworks and transnational “working groups,” many aspects of these emergent surveillance projects are framed through the binaries of the Global War on Terror, serving to rationalize various illiberal practices in the name of securing liberal regimes. I conclude by discussing what I call terror carceralism, which represents an entrenchment of vengeance and retribution, and justifies a host of coercive surveillance and security measures against those labelled and incarcerated as terrorist others.

Everyone welcome!